Early in Phillip Phillips’ career, he was coached by a mediator on how to answer the prompt, “Describe your sound.”
“I said, ‘I don’t really know, it’s different genres from different places. Just listen to the songs,’” the singer said in an interview during his current tour with Matt Nathanson, set to stop in Columbus on Tuesday.
Phillips said, after listening, the mediator agreed with him, that each song was a different adventure, albeit all having a “very classic” sound produced by “real” instruments.
The smorgasbord of genres Phillips said he picks from include blues, funk, pop, rock and folk.
Phillips cited artists such as Peter Gabriel and Lynyrd Skynyrd as inspirations, but especially the guitar and composition mastery of Jimi Hendrix.
“How the songs were written, how they build and then drift away and come back lyrically, they’re some of the best, the classics,” he said.
Upon winning the eleventh season of “American Idol” in 2012, Phillips’ debut single “Home” went platinum five times, making it the most successful coronation song of any “Idol” winner.
The summer tour with Nathanson is the first tour Phillips has embarked on in about a year and a half. Phillips said he spent most of 2014 touring in support of his second album, “Behind the Light,” featuring the single, “Raging Fire.”
“It’s good to be back on the road,” Phillips said.
While off tour, Phillips finished recording his third album, having split recording time between Nashville, Tennessee and Seattle, Washington.
“This album is very guitar-driven,” Phillips said. “I’m playing electric a little more than I’m used to, so that’s been very interesting, very good.”
Concertgoers will be able to get a taste of the new album, which doesn’t yet have a set release date.
“I’m super excited about these songs and for everyone to hear them,” Phillips said.
Phillips and Nathanson’s co-headlining show, with opener Eric Hutchinson, starts at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at EXPRESS LIVE! Tickets are $43.85, including fees, via Ticketmaster.